relevance rules

I was thrilled to see Van Jones’ introducing Dream CorpsDay of Empathy via this video. Wow!

This incredible experiment in using virtual reality to build empathy—the first step to engagement and action—could be groundbreaking. I am following closely, can’t wait to see how this evolves, and promise to report back along the way. Van, I hope you and your team will share out what works, what doesn’t, and how other orgs and causes can use this technique to build the empathy necessary to motivate action.

Please join me on Day of Empathy’s Facebook group to follow its development, roll out, and results. So much to learn. So much inspiration. I’m so excited!

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P.P.S. This Day of Empathy approach is all about making Dream Corps’ methods and goals relevant to more of us, via virtual reality. Relevance Rules! And it’s meta—Van does a fantastic job of making the experiment relevant to us in this video.

Nancy Schwartz on August 4, 2016 in Relevance Rules | 2 comments
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distractedHow many times did you get distracted already today?

It’s no secret that we need to communicate quickly, briefly and on point to grab the attention of folks in a near constant stage of distraction. That’s been one of the most significant fundraising challenges since the advent of the Internet, compounded over time by our reliance on more content on more platforms on more devices more of the time. But the first step to connecting in our age of distraction is understanding what’s going on.

Consider your habits. How much attention do you give your 8-year-old daughter’s first-time request to host a sleepover, your BFF’s distress over her mom’s increasing dementia, or your colleague’s wrangles with her boss? For most of us, the answer is “not as much as I would like to.”

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Nancy Schwartz on May 17, 2016 in Branding and Messages | 0 comments
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Relevance RulesThere’s no better way for your organization to get your supporters’ and prospects’ attention (media attention, too) than piggybacking on what’s already top of mind. Your people are already thinking on this stuff, so are far more likely to connect with your campaign than at any other time. Relevances rules!

So, make the most of Mother’s Day—you still have time if you act now. Mother’s Day campaigns are right-things, right-now marketing and I’ve seen some fantastic examples from nonprofits like yours in recent years. Take a look and act NOW:

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Nancy Schwartz on May 5, 2015 in Relevance Rules | 0 comments
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Watch it and weep, with laughter and recognition (if you’re a working parent, or overloaded in any other way). That’s definitely me! Is it you? This video from Make It Work—a community making things better for hardworking women, men and families across the country—works wonders. It: READ MORE

Nancy Schwartz on March 11, 2015 in Relevance Rules, Video | 4 comments
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Relevance rules: Nonprofit marketingGet this! Media recluse Bob Dylan recently gave his first interview in a few years…to the AARP magazine.

Dylan and his handlers were being crafty, not crazy, here. Dylan’s just-released album, Shadows in the Night, is 100% Sinatra covers. “Bob…wanted to reach the AARP audience. And he thought that this record would be more appreciated by people who had more wisdom and experience in life,” says Robert Love, publisher of the magazine.

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Nancy Schwartz on February 4, 2015 in Planning and Evaluation | 3 comments
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Keep Relationship CurrentI’m a huge fan of the charity clearinghouse GlobalGiving, and have donated through them several times to causes I wouldn’t have been able to connect with otherwise.

That’s GlobalGiving’s sweet spot—connecting donors like yours (and you, and me) with causes that we may not find, know of and/or be able to easily donate to. They do a fantastic job of it: Since 2002, GlobalGiving has raised $151,783,082 from 407,034 donors who have supported 10,812 projects.

So I was surprised to receive this could-be-better email from them, updating me on the work they’ve done with my donation 3 1/2 years ago to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

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Nancy Schwartz on November 5, 2014 in Branding and Messages | 1 comment
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Right-Things, Right-Now Marketing

There’s no better way for your organization to get your supporters’ and prospects’ attention (media attention, too) than hooking into what’s top of mind. Your people are already thinking about these topics and issues, so are far more likely to connect with your campaign than at other times.

That’s right-things, right-now marketing and I’ve seen some fantastic Mother’s Day models from nonprofits like yours in the last few weeks. Here are two of the very best:

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Nancy Schwartz on May 7, 2014 in Right-Things Right-Now Marketing | 1 comment
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Nonprofit-communications-Disaster

Here’s the hot-off-the-presses story I just received from Leili Khalessi, Communications Manager at RedRover. Leili and her colleagues have done a terrific job responding to the deadly tornadoes and torrential rains that are wreaking havoc with our lives, and those of our pets.

The response has been great—Leili reports that local agencies have shared RedRover’s disaster-related resources via Twitter and other channels and the org’s 15,000+ Facebook fans have been sharing its disaster-resource & assistance graphic  far and wide. “We’ve also received some press inquiries from pet-related publications because of our coverage on the tornadoes,” says Leili.

You can bet folks will remember RedRover’s help and moral support, with donations, loyalty and more. Here’s what Leili and team did, and how they made it happen quickly and effectively.
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Nancy Schwartz on May 1, 2014 in Crisis Communications | 4 comments
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Kids4Kars | Donate Your Kid Today

Update: Thanks to community member Phyllis Nunkis who brought 4 Kids’ deceptive practices and false advertising to my attention. Kids4Kars doesn’t meet the Better Business Bureau’s standards for Charity Accountability, and the organization has been the subject of many, many complaints from consumers over the years.  It is unfortunate to see smart, creative marketing used for the wrong purposes,” says Phyllis.

She’s 100% correct, but the best response we can have is to use this effective model to spur our own marketing innovation. Go to it!

What a morning! Our daughter, Charlotte, is off to her 5th-grade camping trip today and woke up with a challenging combo of anxiety and excitement—about having the right clothes, the weather, and every other facet of the trip she could imagine.  Between us, it was a nightmare getting her out of the house this morning and a huge relief to watch the bus pulling away.

So how timely that that I saw this Kids 4 Kars campaign first thing today. Talk about getting my attention!

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Nancy Schwartz on April 1, 2014 in Right-Things Right-Now Marketing | 1 comment
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RobOur newest guest blogger, Rob Wu is CEO of CauseVox, a nonprofit crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising platform  for nonprofits. 

You know it, and I know it. Connecting with your audience is harder than ever. And that means more of your org’s messages than ever before are ignored or deleted.

So how do we cut through the noise? And how do we motivate donors to donate and supporters to take action? We have to make our messages relevant.

That’s right-things, right-now marketing and I’m thrilled to introduce you to our Empathy Map tool to help you get there!

Note from Nancy: This Empathy Mapping technique is the perfect complement to developing personas—learn how to do that here. Then put your results together and you’ll have a 360-dgree profile of the folks you want to engage. That’s right-things, right-now marketing, and that makes you a  5-star messenger!
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Guest Blogger on March 6, 2014 in Right-Things Right-Now Marketing | 15 comments
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